Prognostic awareness and its association with health outcomes in the last year of life.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Little research has examined changes in prognostic awareness (PA) in the last year of life and the extent PA change was associated with anxiety, depression, and spiritual well-being among metastatic cancer patients. METHODS: Two surveys were administered in the last year of life to 176 conveniently sampled Singaporean patients with stage 4 solid cancers. PA was assessed by asking patients whether they were aware that their treatments were unlikely to cure their cancer. Multivariable linear regression models were used to investigate the association of PA change with anxiety, depression, and spiritual well-being. RESULTS: The proportion of patients with accurate PA increased (39.2%-45.5%; p < 0.05) from the second-last assessment to the last assessment before death. Those with inaccurate PA decreased (26.1%-20.4%; p < 0.05) while a third of patients remained uncertain at both assessments (34.7% and 34.1%). Compared to patients with inaccurate PA at both assessments, patients who reported accurate PA at both assessments reported worsened anxiety (β = 2.08), depression (β = 3.87), and spiritual well-being (β = -4.45) while patients who reported being uncertain about their prognosis at both assessments reported worsened spiritual well-being (β = - 6.30) at the last assessment before death (p < 0.05 for all). CONCLUSIONS: Interventions should dually focus on decreasing prognostic uncertainty at the end-of-life while minimising the psychological and spiritual sequelae associated with being prognostically aware. More research is needed to clarify the causes of prognostic uncertainty.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ozdemir, S; Chaudhry, I; Ng, S; Teo, I; Malhotra, C; Finkelstein, EA; COMPASS Study Group,

Published Date

  • February 2023

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 12 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 4801 - 4808

PubMed ID

  • 36200706

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9972138

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2045-7634

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/cam4.5286


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States